You’ve likely heard it once or twice before: To temper oxidative stress, you’ll want to get your fill of antioxidants—these stabilize free radicals or render them harmless by breaking them down; research shows they stop up to 99% of free radicals from damaging our cells.
The best way to boost your body’s natural levels is to eat plenty of antioxidant-rich plants—think fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Romm agrees: “Nourishing yourself with really rich antioxidant-rich foods like berries [and] greens is super important for our whole life cycle but then becomes very important in those years,” she says.
Some of the star foods she mentions (other than berries and greens) are flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds, all of which are loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals. “Eating seeds is really helpful throughout all of our life cycles,” Romm notes, and especially within that 40s age range.
She also touts foods high in vitamin C for hormone health: “Citrus, if you tolerate it, is a great way to nourish your ovaries,” she adds. Think orange, grapefruit, lemon—perhaps top your salads with all three for a fresh summer twist, or whip up a pitcher of infused water.